By Skye Huntington
Magic is something that's stuck with Adrien Brody throughout his life. The hypothetical, metaphorical version can be found in three decades of dramatic excellence, but more specifically, the actuality of working with Wes Anderson.

The American auteur's movies are enchanting in every sense of the word, totally different from any other filmmaker's portfolio, with a hypnotic charm present that attracts many great actors to want to collaborate.

Anderson's latest release Asteroid City, a sci-fi, romantic dramedy – means Brody has accumulated five starring roles under the Houston director. Only Owen Wilson, Jason Schwartzman, and Bill Murray have more.

Youth and magic are both recurring themes in Brody's life. What with starting as a magician as a boy, playing his childhood idol, and being the youngest actor to win a Lead Role Oscar.

In Asteroid City, he plays a director called Schubert Green. The role, happily, is one of poise and performance and considerably less involved than, for instance, 1999's Summer of Sam, based on the serial killer David Berkowitz, in which Brody broke his nose. Albeit that was nothing compared to the real-life motorcycle accident in 1992 in which the actor cheated death and was forced to endure a four-month recuperation from.

The Academy Award winner has never been married and keeps relationships strictly private. He was engaged to Elsa Pataky in 2008-2009 and was last known to have been dating Georgina Chapman.

His Oscar was won for the moving and emotional portrayal of Polish pianist and classical composer Władysław Szpilman in Roman Polanski's 2002 film The Pianist.

Other than Brody's consistent collaborations with Wes Anderson, some of his additional, prominent roles have been in The Thin Red Line (1998), The Village (2004), King Kong (2005), Predators (2010), and Midnight In Paris (2011).

The four previous Anderson films he has been involved in were The Darjeeling Limited (2007), Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009), The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014), and The French Dispatch (2021).

Brody stands as an actor who can successfully cross the line between film and television on both sides of the Atlantic, with roles in HBO shows Succession and Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers and BBC series Peaky Blinders.

STRIPLV: What about working with Wes Anderson pleases you so much?
BRODY: Obviously, working with Wes before, I knew how he operates both on a professional and personal level, and that's what really attracts me to keep that bond going. There's always a real family atmosphere on his sets; he also has such great taste in friends as well as actors, just great people. You only ever get people collaborating with Wes for the right reasons.
STRIPLV: A lot of actors do say the same about him.
BRODY: So many actors, casting staff, and everyone behind the scenes really appreciates being involved with his productions, and it's always been such a friendly and inclusive atmosphere. It's rare that you won't all sit together and have dinner. You get to see what the other actors and people are currently up to in their lives. I think that really helps everyone take it up a notch when he shouts "action."
STRIPLV: Asteroid City is a funny movie that leans on serious subjects and the unexplored and unexplained.
BRODY: I think it's only Wes who can make a movie like this. It's an attachment to a reality, yet he manages to take an irreverent, leftfield slant. As always, it's very clever what he does. The way he puts them together. He gets the huge ensemble casts to all feel like they're really, actually, in this world that he's created for the relatively short time that we're together. It's just phenomenal. I mean, have you ever seen a sci-fi romcom like this. And how often do you even see a sci-fi romcom, come to think of it?
STRIPLV: Only four actors have worked with Wes Anderson more than you. So, that proves much from you to him, doesn't it?
BRODY: It does, but it is also saying a lot from me to him, as well. The fact that we've worked together so much is what it says on the tin.
STRIPLV: Will there be more Anderson films with you in, then? Is this an exclusive?
I can't really say, you know. (Laughs)
STRIPLV: Tell me why magic was something that was so important to you.
BRODY: To me, Houdini was so captivating when I was growing up. So much so that I was inspired to try magic out for myself and actually began to put on shows called "The Amazing Adrien" as a young boy. (Laughs) It doesn't have quite the ring to it that it might have. Little did I know I would be connected with the great man further down the line by playing him in a TV production.
STRIPLV: You were nominated for an Emmy for that performance on History's Houdini. That must have meant so much to you with what you had experienced in your youth.
BRODY: I mean, any praise or acknowledgment for any performance I do is heart-warming. Of course, that's not what I do it for, but for that one, it was special. It did actually feel like I was writing my letter to Houdini and thanking him for inspiring me all those years ago. That was my show of appreciation to his genius.
STRIPLV: You're one of the most admired, respected, and diligent actors of your generation. Is that a nice thing to hear?
BRODY: It is, absolutely, and I like to repay in any way I can. It's always been a huge aim of mine to create a body of work which, I think, at the very least, leaves the world in a slightly better place than it was previously. Any role I take, I see it as a privilege and my gift back to the people who chose me.
STRIPLV: You have had a lot of comedic roles. Which do you prefer?
BRODY: The responsibility of an actor is to try their utmost to live the individual that they're playing. If we can achieve that, then it doesn't matter what genre we are taking on. It's all about acting. It's all about art. My methodology is in pursuing roles that speak directly to me. The genre and sometimes even the subject matter don't really come into it, for me, as strange as that might sound. That said, I love the challenging roles, the ones which hold some amount of risk. Not so much a gamble, but the ones which encompass a degree of complexity and that require I learn something new. Something different from anything that I have done before.
STRIPLV: I read an article about your sudden rise up the film food chain after the 2004 Oscar win the fact it didn't quite go the way you may have planned it, as straight afterward something went out to print which surprised you in Detail magazine.
BRODY: There was a photo shoot I did for a magazine not long after I had won, and the resultant cover image went out with me, resplendent, not my words, in an "All-American look" of a white t-shirt, glowing tan, and my arms behind my head. While that doesn't sound too bad at all, it was accompanied by the headline "Adrien Brody loves being famous," all in capital letters. That wasn't something I ascribed to then, nor is it now. If I'm totally honest, and I don't think this is anything new to people who know me, nor would it surprise those that don't, I'm far much more of an introvert in everyday life.
STRIPLV: But you like to get involved with fashion and style and are currently the face of New York brand KITH.
BRODY: I am. I look out for image, and I like to dress well. Of course, fashion is all a matter of individual taste, so you can't take it too seriously. I've also learned that, as an industry, it's even more fake than perhaps the most far-fetched film plot. We are all kidders!
STRIPLV: On that note, you do seem to talk yourself down as regards style and grooming, particularly as you're someone who can effortlessly pull off the slick hair and artful stubble look.
BRODY: I like looking good, and it fills me with a great deal of confidence, as it should anybody. When you're looking your best, you feel like you're going to do your best work, and as an actor, that is vital.